San Jacinto College library captures eye of Preservation Houston for a 2016 Good Brick Award
11.06.2015 | By Jeannie Peng-Armao
PASADENA, Texas – San Jacinto College is the winner of a 2016 Good Brick Award for its restoration of the Lee Davis Library at the Central Campus.
This award by Preservation Houston honors projects within Harris County that show preservation, restoration and enhancement of Houston's architectural and cultural heritage. In 2014, San Jacinto College made renovations to the 62,000-square-foot Lee Davis Library to meet today's technological advances and learning culture, while also keeping its Mid-Century architecture and some of the original furniture.
The library has become the gem of all the San Jacinto College buildings constructed and renovated from the 2008 Bond program, noted Bryan Jones, associate vice chancellor for facilities services at San Jacinto College.
“Instead of removing all of the classic Mid-Century Modern interior features and remodeling it into something ‘new,’ we decided a restoration of the building to its original era could actually work,” said Jones. “The result really has worked even better than we imagined. The transformation was amazing.”
During its renovation, the College made sure to protect the irreplaceable aluminum light fixtures, the wooden clock that dates back 40 plus years, and the monolithic spiral staircase with its brushed aluminum and dark walnut curved bannister. The remodeled design had to incorporate what was to remain with the library's Mid-Century Modern look.
The Lee Davis Library now houses the campus' Honors lounge and student success center that includes four group study/tutoring rooms. There are 14 additional study rooms, a reference desk, library instruction lab, computer lab, and copy and printing stations. Updates of the electrical system, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing were done for energy efficiency. Fritted glass was added to the front of the building.
Tellepsen Builders, Gensler, and Rizzo & Associates served as the project's architects and consultants. Furniture coordination and planning were provided by Sylvia Hajo with Bay-IBI and Furniture Marketing Group.
Preservation Houston is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1978 as Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. Its mission is to preserve Houston’s local culture of diversity, invention, vitality and can-do spirit by celebrating and revitalizing our historic buildings, neighborhoods, and places. Nomination categories for the Good Brick Award include the renovation, restoration, or adaptive reuse of a building; new buildings or sympathetic additions that enhance the existing historic fabric of Houston; recognition for the craftspeople who continually maintain, build, and restore our important buildings and cultural fabric; preservation-related programs or activities; project planning; publications; and outstanding service or leadership in preservation.
Preservation Houston will formally present San Jacinto College with its award on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, when The Cornerstone Dinner recreates “A Night at the Shamrock” at the River Oaks Country Club.
The Lee Davis Library has captured national recognition since its renovation. It was most recently recognized by SchoolDesigns.com, a virtual gallery of American School & University magazine, for outstanding design of interior renovation. Earlier this year, it captured an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Houston Development of Distinction Award for 2015.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.